Baby gate

Friday night we broke down and bought a baby gate. After work we went to Champaign to check out Toys R Us and walked out with a baby gate and a number of other cool things Mommy didn’t think Reagan could live without!

Side note: On some level it was probably a good thing I was on bedrest while pregnant with Reagan. If not, I probably would have bought way too much stuff!! It’s much more fun to shop for baby stuff in person than online!

Toys R Us had a really nice selection of baby gates and after going back and forth between a few different types, we ended up going with the Munchkin Deco Gate. We liked it because it could be used in front of stairs (what we would be using it for) and could be installed using either the pressure mounts or screws.

Sunday evening James (with a little help from Reagan) installed the gate in front of the stairs going downstairs. The stairs are right off the kitchen and there is no door anywhere near this area that could be used to block it from Reagan.  Our living room, dining room, and kitchen are all wide open and this extends to the stairs!

Reagan helping Daddy get the gate installed!

After we got the gate up, we let Reagan check it out and she seemed to really like it! I guess it’s fun now because she doesn’t realize there’s a whole other part of the house downstairs for her to explore!

Checking out the gate… for now she seems to like it!

This will probably be the only baby gate we put up since both James and I are of the mindset that Reagan should be allowed to explore and check things out, especially at home. Yet, this gate was a necessity because Reagan is starting to crawl and explore the area close to the stairs and there is no other way to block them from her. And the bonus? The color scheme of the gate actually matches all the woodwork in the house! 🙂

Nine months

Reagan is nine months old and it doesn’t seem possible that she’s been out almost as long as she was inside of me! It’s amazing and humbling to think about how far she’s come from a tiny little newborn to an active and walking (with assistance) baby girl!

Standing up on her own! What a big girl!

Here’s more of what Reagan’s been up to this month:

  • Crawling with purpose – At the end of last month, Reagan was still a little unsure about the whole crawling thing, but she’s now mastered it and goes wherever she wants… Which normally means into something she couldn’t get to before!! Reagan is also crawling to Mommy or Daddy to when she wants to get picked up and will raise up her arms… or start crawling up your leg!
  • Sitting up unassisted – Miss Reagan blew us away by sitting up unassisted less than a week after she started crawling! She’s now a pro at this and does it without even thinking!
  • Pulling herself up on things and standing – Almost as soon as Reagan mastered sitting up on her own, she started pulling herself up on things and standing. At first she was pretty unsteady, but now she’s gotten pretty good about falling on her tush instead of her face!
  • Walking with assistance – After learning how to pull herself up, the next step was literally to start walking with assistance. Normally this meant holding on to Mommy or Daddy’s hands, but after getting her sit-to-stand learning walker she started walking on her own while pushing her walker!

Reagan loves walking while pushing around her walking toy!

  • Getting into everything – Now that Reagan is crawling, sitting on her own, pulling herself up, and walking with some assistance she is getting into everything!! Nothing is safe and she loves exploring her environment. We currently don’t have baby gates or a playpen, so Reagan really does have free range to check everything out!

Playing the piano standing up!

  • Playing by herself – Reagan is pretty good about playing on her own.  She wants to be in the same room as Daddy and Mommy, but as long as one of us is around she is normally pretty good playing with her toys and/or exploring and getting into things!
  • Stranger anxiety – Reagan is still experiencing a little bit of this, but seems to warm up to people pretty quickly once she realizes Mommy & Daddy aren’t going anywhere.
  • Nursing – Reagan is still nursing like a champ and has reversed cycled in that she drinks way more milk in the evenings and at night with me than during the day when she’s with the babysitter or James and drinks bottled breastmilk.
  • Solid food – I don’t think there is any food Reagan won’t try! She seems to love the different flavors and different textures of food, and is quick to give everything a try! Just yesterday I gave her a slice of green pepper and she loved it!  Reagan also enjoys meat (small slices of turkey, chicken, and beef), different types of fruits (peaches, banana, all types of melon, apples, & pears), crackers (Ritz with the salt brushed off and mini Triscuits), pizza crusts, and especially veggies (cucumbers, carrots, celery, avocado, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green peppers, green beans, & corn).  Yet… she still spits almost everything out after chewing it up! I know some gets swallowed, but overall she chews all the flavor out her food and then spits it out! 🙂
  • Pinching motion – Reagan is now making a pinching motion with her thumb and pointer finger and using these two fingers to pick things up!
  • Knowing who Dada and Mama are – Reagan definitely knows who Dada and Mama are and is saying Dada on demand; Mama is only when she feels like it! She is also continuing to babble and is adorable when she tries to “talk” with you or tell you about something!
  • Sleeping – Reagan is back to sleeping a little bit better than last month. She is still crying out in her sleep sometimes when she wants to nurse or be comforted, but overall she isn’t doing as much tossing and turning.  Her normal bedtime is around 7:30-9pm and she will generally sleep till 7-7:30am; this doesn’t include her dream nursing throughout the night because she normally doesn’t actually wake up to nurse.
  • Happy baby – We get asked a lot if Reagan is normally this happy all the time and the truthful answer really is yes! Reagan has her moments, but overall she really is a happy and easy going baby!

The next big milestones will probably be Reagan walking on her own and climbing up on things. We’ve got some bets that she’ll be walking before next month, but I guess we’ll have to see!

In her rocking chair!

Thirty-nine weeks

Reagan is thirty-nine weeks old and has been keeping us busy with all her activities.  I know I say it pretty much every week, but she really is learning and doing new things all the time! Some of these things include…

Crawling into Mommy & Daddy’s closet and playing with Mommy’s shoes.  And yes, she liked the sparkly ones!

Checking out Mommy’s shoes!

Hmmm… I wonder how long until these fit?

Reagan loves the vacuum and has fun chasing after it as we work our way through the house vacuuming!

Playing in the vacuum hose as Mommy vacuums the bathroom!

Playing with blocks! She likes to pull them out and bang them on things, but especially likes it when Mommy or Daddy builds her a tower of blocks that she can knock over!

Playing with her tub of blocks!

Reagan really enjoys getting into things that she previously couldn’t reach… Like Daddy’s camera bag!!

Playing in Daddy’s camera bag! Wonder what I’ll find in here to play with?

Playing with all her toys is still lots of fun and Reagan has different toy “stations” set up around the house (nursery, office, kitchen, living room, and our bedroom) so there’s always something to play with!

Playing with some of her toys!

Standing is also lots of fun and Reagan is pulling herself up on just about everything and is also loving her new toy walker!

Standing up and playing with the rocking chair!

Reagan loves her new walking toy and is quite the “big” girl now!

Our baby girl is growing up so fast!!

Update: I forgot to add that Reagan is now saying Dada on demand and definitely knows what it means! It’s pretty cute and has secured Reagan as Daddy’s little girl!

Sit to Stand Learning Walker

Friday afternoon after we picked Reagan up from the babysitter we went out to eat, grocery shopping, and to pick out a walker for Reagan.  We had looked at one a few weeks ago, but I just wasn’t sure how ready she was for it.  Now that Reagan is pulling herself up on everything and standing, I thought it was time.  We stopped at Target and there were a few options, but the one that stood out was the one that we originally looked at! It’s the Vtech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker and Reagan seems to really like it!

As soon as we got it out of the box she was playing with the toys on the front of it and did a really good job standing up and pushing it!

Reagan playing with the toys on the front of her walker!

Check me out, I’m walking!

Overall Reagan is really enjoying her new toy and I firmly believe it is helping her with her balancing and walking!  Here’s a quick video of Reagan pushing her walker after a day or so of practice!

Allerton remembered

Today I attended a Great Teachers Retreat at Allerton Park. It was a wonderful day and I really enjoyed interacting with such amazing and innovative faculty who truly love teaching.  In addition, it was nice to walk around outside a little bit and take in the wonderful fall weather and the amazing scenery.

Looking out over the pond

Perfectly shaped water lily

Strangely enough, even though I live less than 20 minutes from the park, it’s been over a year since I’ve visited. It was back in April 2011 and I’d taken a mental health day (my first day off since my miscarriage in March), and Mom and I spent the morning taking in the fresh spring air. As we walked and talked about life and everything in between, the topic of pregnancy came up. I was still upset over the miscarriage and worried about being able to get pregnant again. As we made our way around the pond outside the mansion, we walked up some stairs and there was a dime.

Finding a dime might not mean much to most people, but to my Mom and I, finding a dime was pretty important. To us it signified that everything will be ok, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.  This might sound cheesy, but in the past dimes really have popped up in strange places just when I need to know that things would work out.

Finding the dime as we were talking about babies and getting pregnant again seemed to signify that somehow things really would be ok.  Little did we know, but I was already pregnant with Reagan!! I didn’t find out until a few weeks later, but when we found the dime at Allerton I was already four weeks pregnant!

Being back at Allerton for the first time since that visit was special because I got a chance to sit on those same steps that we found the dime and reflect on how much has changed and how things really did work out for the best! The next best thing will be when Reagan is old enough to walk up those steps with me!

Stairs where we found the dime

Advanced reading

I guess Reagan decided the books in her room just weren’t advanced enough! Today while she was playing in the office with Daddy she decided to check out some of Mommy’s books.

The books on this shelf look like some good reading!

Look at all the great choices! Hmm… decisions, decisions….

I think I’ll read this one!

Reagan had excellent taste and pulled down two technology and learning books from Mommy’s stash of PhD books. Cognition, Education, and Communication Technology was the first book Reagan managed to turn over in the bookcase and Teaching and Learning with Technology was the first book she pulled out of the bookcase. Hopefully her interest in (advanced) books will continue as she gets older! 🙂

Thirty-eight weeks

Little Miss Reagan is thirty-eight weeks and just as busy as ever! It’s amazing how much she’s changed developmentally in the last few weeks since she started crawling. The two new things Reagan started doing this week were (1) using her thumb and pointer finger to make a pinching motion that she then uses to pick things up with and (2) waving at everyone coming or going! Both are pretty cute to see her doing!

In addition, Reagan officially pulled everything out of a cupboard for the first time!

Taking everything out of the cupboard!


Reagan is also doing a much better job pulling herself up to a standing position and tries this on everything she can reach!

Reagan pulled herself up to play with her activity table!

Reagan also continues to keep herself entertained (as long as Mommy or Daddy are in the room) and really enjoys playing with her toys, looking at books, and checking out the baby in the mirror.

Playing with her toys!

Trying to decide which book to read!

Giving the baby in the mirror a kiss!

Reagan’s personality is just blooming and it is so fun to be a part of her growing and learning about the world. She is curious about everything and has the sweetest expressions!!

Too precious!

J Jones reunion 2012

Sunday morning we woke up early and had breakfast before packing the car and getting on the road. It was a 2.5 hour drive and we needed to stop at home before going to the reunion because we needed to pick up some of Reagan’s old baby stuff for Joanna (James’ sister) to take to Shandi (James’ niece).  Shandi is having a little girl in December and we wanted to make sure she got the baby clothes, car seat, and stroller before the baby came!

The reunion was at the pavilion in Fairview Park in Decatur and I was worried we were running a little late, but we ended up making it with time to spare. A lot of family was already there, including Joanna, and she seemed especially happy to see us! She hadn’t seen Reagan since she was a month old, so she was definitely ready for some Reagan time!

Reagan and her Aunt Joanna

Reagan warmed up to her Aunt Joanna pretty fast and surprised me by how quickly she was willing to go to her! It was nice getting to see so much family and Reagan was especially cute because she was waving and smiling at everyone! Reagan was especially excited to see and pet the puppy dog one family brought with them! Reagan loves dogs and cats and just goes nuts when she sees them!

Reagan loved petting the puppy dog

The food and conversation was great and the weather was absolutely perfect for a picnic; sunny, but not too hot!

Reagan and Daddy

Reagan playing with Grandma on the table

James, Joanna, & Reagan – Reagan doing more waving!

Getting a *little* bit of attention from her Grandparents!

Everyone seemed to have a good time, but eventually Reagan (and Mommy & Daddy) started to get tired and it was time to head home. We said our goodbyes and talked about hopefully seeing each other again soon!

Relaxing day in Kewanee

Saturday morning James was up bright and early to head to his conference in Monmouth.  After James left Mom, Reagan, and I had breakfast and then Reagan and I laid down for a morning nap. When we got up from our nap my Dad was home and Reagan had a lot of fun playing with and talking to her Grandpa!

Reagan crawled over and pulled herself up to see Grandpa

Waving at us now that she was with Grandpa

Reagan and Grandpa talking about their day so far

Later Mom, Reagan, and I went to Walmart for ingredients for pumpkin bars and pasta salad (for the J Jones family reunion the next day) and then out to eat at the Mexican Restaurant in town.  Reagan loved the bright colored booths and walls and surprised us with how much she enjoyed the little bits of chicken from Mom’s chicken fajita. We went back to my parents house so I could get ready for my massage and Mom and Reagan played outside in the grass.

Playing with Grandma in the grass (sorry, didn’t realize how much the sun washed out the picture when I took this).

Mom and Reagan dropped me off for my massage and Reagan fell asleep on the way back to the house. She was still napping I got back after my massage, so I curled up with her and took my second nap of the day! When we woke up, my Mom had been working in the kitchen, so we joined her and helped with the pumpkin bars and dinner; she had made the pasta salad while we were sleeping!

Helping Grandma cook dinner!

James had perfect timing and made it home from his conference just in time for dinner! Mom had made a great feast of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, and corn. Reagan seemed to especially enjoy the chunks of sweet potato and bits of turkey we gave her. She also seemed to really enjoy smearing the food all over herself, so afterwards she ended up in the sink for a bath!

Yummy sweet potatoes and turkey!

Reagan is really excited for her much needed bath!!

Originally James and I were thinking about going to the Galva drive-in Saturday night after dinner for their last movies of the season (and possibly forever if they can’t get the money raised to go digital). It was a triple feature of some good action movies, but after dinner when James asked me if I honestly thought I could make it, I told him no.  Even with my two naps, I was still tired. So instead, we ended up going to the Kewanee movie theater and seeing the Expendables 2.  It was pretty good and had enough action that I was able to stay awake the whole time! The movie was done by 8:45PM and when we got back to my parents little Miss Reagan was awake and ready for Mommy & Daddy to be back!